United Kingdom

Cornish tourism chiefs insist visitors from Tier 2 areas are STILL welcome

Cornish tourism bosses today insisted visitors from Tier 2 areas are still welcome - despite concerns people may travel to take advantage of looser rules on pubs.   

People in the region, along with those in the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight, will only be subject to Tier 1 restrictions after the blanket national lockdown ends tomorrow.  

But nearly 99 per cent of England will be in the toughest two levels from Wednesday, according to the breakdown released last week.

Tier 3 will be brought in for huge swathes of the country including the bulk of the North, much of the Midlands, all of Kent, and Bristol - putting a wrecking ball through pubs, restaurants and clubs now forced to close except for takeaway.     

Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall, today said the county had only seen a 10 per cent rise in visitor numbers following the announcement it would be placed under Tier 1.

Following the lifting of the first national lockdown in July, traffic to the area 'doubled overnight', Mr Bell said.

However, he said that fears of an influx to the area this time had yet to be realised. 

Cornish tourism bosses today insisted visitors from Tier 2 areas are still welcome. Pictured:  Porthmminster Beach, St Ives

Mr Bell said: 'We coped with 180,000 to 200,000 extra people in August with no rise in infection rate.

'The maximum we would talk about this time of year is 20,000 if that. So people would be welcome as long as they abide by the rules. And the age profiles of people visiting this time of year, they are likely to be most compliant.'

Anyone travelling from a Tier 2 area will have to follow the same rules as the area they come from, including a ban on household mixing. 

This means families not living together would not be able to share accommodation. 

Those living under Tier 3 restrictions have been asked to stay away from the region.

Mr Bell said: 'For the pubs, it's better in Cornwall because locals can go without having to eat a substantial meal or a Scotch egg any time they buy a pint.

'The challenge comes in the evening when you live near the border - because people can walk across the boundary. But you can tend to spot visitors.'

Pictured: A sign reading 'Turn around and f*** off' was strung across a motorway bridge near Cornwall earlier in coronavirus lockdown 

The onerous tiered system will be in place across England from December 3 until the end of March, the Prime Minister said

It comes as Devon and Cornwall Police today launched 10 dedicated patrol cars to ensure the rules are being followed in the area.

A spokesperson for the force said their 'sole purpose will be to respond to Covid-related matters and these vehicles are additional to current response levels'.

Over Christmas, there is a five-day period where three households in the UK can join together in a 'bubble'.

Mr Bell said: 'People need to realise once you've created your bubble, that's it.

'We would say, be sensible - a Tier 3, Tier 2 and Tier 1 bubble, surely that's taking quite a bit of risk. 

'We would also ask people, if you are coming down, put extra precautions up between now and when you want to leave. Don't go visiting everybody beforehand and then come down.

'If we stick to the rules and semi-self-isolate in the run-up to Christmas, maybe the great peak afterwards won't be as great.'   

Pictured: Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall

One wrote that it was 'beyond stupid' because 'people from high rate areas will descend' on the region, prompting another to reply, 'God help Cornwall'.  

Another concerned woman wrote: 'With Cornwall being one of three places on the lowest tier, please don't think it's ok to come here if you're in the highest tiers because it's really not.' 

A third asked other Britons: 'Don't all come to Cornwall now please just let us have our moment.'  

Another resident demanded: 'Everyone stay away from Cornwall please, we're ok on our own down here!' 

One said that while people in the region should feel 'very fortunate' to be in Tier 1, they hoped people from other tiers 'treat that with the respect it deserves.' 

They added: 'Other than masks, the rule of six, self-isolation, etc we're pretty much back to a normal life or as much as a normal life can be.

'We as individuals now control our destiny in terms of can we keep ourselves in Tier 1 or will peoples actions result in moving up a Tier.'  

West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly MP Derek Thomas welcomed the news.

He wrote on Facebook: 'Cornwall in Tier 1. As I predicted Cornwall has just been announced as being in Tier 1 of covid restrictions. 

'Thank you to everyone for doing your bit! This is the best possible outcome both for our businesses and families.

'Please let's work to keep it this way!'  

Holidaymakers were greeted by a person dressed as the grim reaper in Dawlish in July

Despite his positive tone, things are looking bleaker for the rest of the country.    

Although London and Liverpool were spared the harshest Tier 3 in small glimmers of light, just 700,000 people - one per cent of the population - will be subject to the loosest grade of restrictions. 

Most of England will be banned from mixing indoors with other households, apart from five days over Christmas. Pubs in Tier 2 will only be able to serve alcohol with 'substantial' meals. 

However, Boris Johnson today hinted that areas with low infection rates will not be lumped together in future with other nearby hotspots in tougher tiers.

He said the next review on December 16 will be conducted based on 'as much granular detail as we can'. 'We will try to be a sensitive as possible to local effort and local achievement,' he said. 

But Mr Johnson faced a series of hostile interventions from his own benches over the draconian restrictions, which will leave most of England under the toughest two levels from tomorrow. 

He is expected to make a last-ditch effort to win his own party round in a Zoom call ahead of a crunch vote this evening, with up to 100 Tories thought to be ready to rebel.

New coronavirus tiers: which one is your home in? 

TIER THREE: VERY HIGH

North East

Tees Valley Combined Authority:

Hartlepool

Middlesbrough

Stockton-on-Tees

Redcar and Cleveland

Darlington

North East Combined Authority:

Sunderland

South Tyneside

Gateshead

Newcastle upon Tyne

North Tyneside

County Durham

Northumberland

North West

Greater Manchester

Lancashire

Blackpool

Blackburn with Darwen

Yorkshire and The Humber

The Humber

West Yorkshire

South Yorkshire

West Midlands

Birmingham and Black Country

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull

East Midlands

Derby and Derbyshire

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

Leicester and Leicestershire

Lincolnshire

South East

Slough (remainder of Berkshire is tier 2: High alert)

Kent and Medway

South West

Bristol

South Gloucestershire

North Somerset

TIER 2: HIGH

North West

Cumbria

Liverpool City Region

Warrington and Cheshire

Yorkshire

York

North Yorkshire

West Midlands

Worcestershire

Herefordshire

Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin

East Midlands

Rutland

Northamptonshire

East of England

Suffolk

Hertfordshire

Cambridgeshire, including Peterborough

Norfolk

Essex, Thurrock and Southend on Sea

Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes

London

All 32 boroughs plus the City of London

South East

East Sussex

West Sussex

Brighton and Hove

Surrey

Reading

Wokingham

Bracknell Forest

Windsor and Maidenhead

West Berkshire

Hampshire (except the Isle of Wight), Portsmouth and Southampton

Buckinghamshire

Oxfordshire

South West

South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip and Sedgemoor

Bath and North East Somerset

Dorset

Bournemouth

Christchurch

Poole

Gloucestershire

Wiltshire and Swindon

Devon

TIER 1: MEDIUM 

South East

Isle of Wight

South West

Cornwall

Isles of Scilly

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